Massachusetts Governor Admits Veto Won’t Stop Stem Cell Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Governor Admits Veto Won’t Stop Stem Cell Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1
, 2005

Boston, MA ( — Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on Friday conceded that his veto will not stop a bill authorizing embryonic stem cell research from becoming law. Romney said he would veto the bill, but expected the legislature to override it.

‘‘I will vote my conscience and will veto the current bill, but the game is over,” the governor said according to a Patriot Ledger report.

‘‘Apparently it is a veto-proof margin so I’ll vote my conscience, but this is one that the story is completed," Romney added.

The measure affirms the state’s support for the controversial research and requires scientists wanting to destroy human embryos to obtain a license from the Department of Public Health.

The measure also sets fines of as much as $1 million for violating its provisions.

The House approved the bill yesterday on a 117-37 margin and the Senate backed it with a 35-2 vote. Both votes were above the two-thirds margin necessary to override a veto by the governor.

Pro-life organizations, opposed to the destruction of human life in embryonic research, have unsuccessfully tried to defeat the legislation. They worried there was no way to do so now.

‘‘We’re concerned that this is on a steamroll, and that members are being pressured by leadership and aren’t able to vote their conscience,” said Ron Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute told the Patriot Ledger newspaper.

"Embryonic stem cells can only be obtained by destroying the human embryo,” said Maria Parker, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. "The human embryo, however it is created, is an actual, real human being.”

"We all know, apart from any religious teaching, that it is morally wrong to kill another human being,” Parker added.

Romney reiterated his opposition to embryonic stem cell research on Tuesday.

”If you create an embryo, a human embryo, which if you implant it in a woman could become a human child, you have created new human life," Romney said. ”It’s not breathing yet, but it’s life."

Romney also blasted a television commercial financed by former Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Chris Gabrieli which claims Romney opposes all forms of stem cell research. The governor backs research that uses adult stem cells, which have already produced dozens of cures and treatments.

Joe Ganley, a spokesman for Gabrieli confirmed to the Globe that WCVB-TV asked him to change the wording of the ad.

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